Yes, it’s Day 3 of checking Twitter roughly once per minute, so I only have myself to blame, but I am sad to announce that at this point, I have consumed enough tweets that I can categorize 95% of all election-related tweets into one of the following 7 categories. The remaining 5% are cat pictures.
1. “We should have expected this.”
Especially annoying after the author has spent the past 4 weeks claiming the exact opposite would occur and is now pretending they knew this would happen all along. Doesn’t matter what “this” is, it’s still annoying.
What I’d like to see instead: “Mercury is in retrograde. Chaos is in her element. Blame the Capricorns.” It’s equally ridiculous but at least adds an element of entertainment.
2. “There was no way we could have expected this.”
Another irritating tweet because what it’s pointless to speculate whether we should or should not have expected this. Feels like the Tweeter is saying something just to say something.
What I’d like to see instead: “If only you’d listened to me, we could have avoided this apocalyptic outcome!11!!!” Once again just as pointless, but I’d enjoy it more due to the nod to the Cassandra trope.
3. “Trump said [totally fraudulent thing].” No further context given.
Nearly everything, according to FactCheck.org, that the man has tweeted in the past 48 hours has been a lie. Repeating his lies just spreads them further. Feels like the author is just trying to dunk for clout, or worse: is trying to appear non-biased by repeating his words without commentary.
What I’d like to see instead: “This delicious lobster bisque is what I’m having for lunch today,” ideally with an image of the bisque. Has about as much relevance to the election, while potentially giving me inspiration on what to make for my own lunch.
4. “We can never trust the polls again.”
The predecessor of this tweet, “We’ve fixed the polls from 2016, so you should trust them implicitly,” died a sad death and was replaced with this version. What I find most irksome about this tweet is the fact that it implies the tweeter trusted the polls to begin with. Why are pollsters still earning money? What useful information do they actually offer to voters?
What I’d like to see instead: “I predict rain tomorrow.” At least this will tell me whether I’ll need an umbrella when I walk my cat.
5. “Poll Data Indicates We Were Betrayed By X Demographic”
First of all, the exit poll data is exceptionally sparse so far. Secondly, what’s the point of this? Even after all the money and time that was spent on particular demographics, the crucial decider appears to be Stacey Abrams and her bid with Fair Fight to make voting actually democratic in Georgia.
What I’d like to see instead: “My Unnecessarily Long Article on Why My Cat Deserves the Vote.” This would at the very least contain a few cat pictures, and probably will do about as much to help democracy as this kind of tweet.
6. “We can safely say that X will win this state.” [1% of the vote is in.]
You cannot safely say that. I still don’t understand why votes are reported as a sports game, with trickles here and there, rather than releasing when they’re all counted, but in any case, I’m surprised more people didn’t end up in the hospital with the kind of reach they were attempting, especially early in the election.
What I’d like to see instead: “Here we present a statistical analysis on the number of breadsticks that were consumed at Olive Garden when that one Tumblr meme went viral.” This study at least promises to have integrity and honesty.
7. [Somberly] “We must count every vote.“
Yes. That’s democracy. You have to count all the votes cast. The assumption is implicit in the tweet that the votes are legally cast. Stop treating this as if it were a fringe position.
This kind of tweet is especially annoying if it comes from someone who has previously done all they could to undermine the election process by, e.g., gerrymandering, closing polling locations, or purging voter rolls. We must count every vote, indeed.
What I’d like to see instead: “This 1 Surprising Trick Gets Rid of Your Belly Fat! Doctors hate her.” This progenitor of the clickbait genre is hilarious to me every time I see it. It is at least high-quality garbage.
I should probably log off Twitter.